Levke King-Elsner grew up in a bilingual environment (Plattdeutsch (Low German) and Hochdeutsch (standard German)) on the North Sea island of Nordstrand (off Husum). She studied Literature (American/Canadian and Nordic) at the Christian Albrecht University in Kiel, Københavns Universitet and the University of Kansas. She taught German as a Foreign Language at the CAU Kiel and passed the State Examination II for the Gymnasium (grammar school) in the subjects English and Danish. Since 1988 she has been working in Brussels as a freelance translator in the main areas of education, social affairs and regional politics and from 2001 was a translator in the Directorate General for Translation (subject area Competition Policy, Business & Finance and Trade Policy). Since 2015 she has headed a translation department in the German language section with 25 translators (subject areas Justice and Interior, Competition Policy, Business & Finance, von der Leyen Cabinet).